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Altretamine is used in the treatment of ovarian cancer

How it works

Altretamine works by damaging the genetic material (DNA) of the cancer cells and stops their growth and multiplication.

Common side effects

Rash, Reduced blood platelets, Headache, Fainting, Dizziness, Convulsion, Myelosuppression, Coordination disorder, Increased magnesium level in blood, Pale colored skin, Insomnia, Vomiting, Weakness, Sleepiness, Mouth ulcer, Allergic reaction, Allergic skin rash, Nausea, Decreased potassium level in blood, Abdominal pain, Infection, Loss of appetite, Bone-marrow suppression, Brain swelling, Decreased white blood cell count, Cns toxicity, Hair loss, Fatigue, Fever, Anxiety, Increased liver enzymes, Anemia, Decreased blood cells (red cells, white cells, and platelets), Hallucination, Thrombophlebitis, Itching, Diarrhoea, Blood in urine, Depression, Vertigo, Speech disorder, Confusion, Mucosal inflammation, Drowsiness, Gastritis, Decreased white blood cell count (neutrophils), Constipation, Stomatitis, Hemiparesis (weakness on one side of the body), Uncoordinated body movements, Decreased white blood cell count (lymphocytes), Viral infection, Increased glucose level in blood, Hemiplegia (paralysis of one side of the body)

Available Medicine

No medicine available

Expert advice

  • Altretamine may cause severe nerve damage. If you experience symptoms such as pain, burning, numbness, or tingling in the hands or feet, weakness in the arms or legs, loss of ability to move arms or legs, mood changes, loss of consciousness, contact your doctor immediately.
  • You should take altretamine with food or milk and on the indicated days.
  • Tell your doctor if you have bone marrow cancer, bone marrow depression, a history of low white blood cell count, liver problems, if you are receiving radiation, if you are taking any other medicines such as MAO inhibitors (eg, phenelzine) or pyridoxine. 
  • You should avoid contact with people who have colds or other infections as altretamine lowers resistance to infection. Do not touch your eyes or the inside of your nose unless you have thoroughly washed your hands first.
  • Altretamine may reduce the number of blood cells needed for clotting. Therefore, prevent bleeding or avoid situations where bruising or injury may occur.
  • You may need to undergo blood tests including platelet counts, to monitor treatment progress or to check for side effects.
  • Use altretamine with caution in the elderly because they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially kidney function.
  • Altretamine is not recommended for use in children and adolescents under 18 years of age as safety and effectiveness have not been confirmed.

Frequently asked questions



What is altretamine used for?
Altretamine is used to treat ovarian cancer in females which has not improved or became worse after treatment with other medications


How does altretamine work?
Altretamine works by slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells in the body.

Content on this page was last updated on 23 February, 2017, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)